By indexer
166 days ago

Wandering albatross

.
The wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans) inhabits a band of the Southern Ocean (including the South Pacific and South Atlantic Oceans) between the polar and tropical zones. As the name suggests, individuals range widely as they follow ships to scavenge food thrown overboard or are blown by the prevailing westerly winds for thousands of miles.

The wandering albatross measures up to 53 inches (135 cms) in length with a wingspan of 11.5 feet (3.5 metres), which is the largest wingspan of any flying bird. It also has the largest number of flight feathers of any bird, at 88.

The plumage is predominantly white with black over much of the wings. The bill is pink with a yellowish, hooked tip. Females are slightly smaller than males.

Apart from scavenging, wandering albatrosses feed on squid – often after dark – by scooping them from the sea surface. They then rely on the wind to get them airborne again.

Wandering albatrosses breed in colonies on the tops and hillsides of islands where the prevailing winds are available to aid take-off. A single egg is laid in an untidy nest of mud and grass and is incubated for around 80 days. It then takes another 40 weeks for the chick to be large enough to leave the nest. For this reason, wandering albatrosses tend to breed only once every two years. Although breeding pairs separate at the end of the breeding period, they have been known to re-unite and breed again.
166d
kavinitu Thanks for sharing. Very informative article
166d
166d
fortune Some new knowledge
166d
163d
RasmaSandra The mention of albatross always makes me picture the Disney cartoon The Rescuers Down Under with the two little mice flying on a large albatross.
163d
162d
indexer @RasmaSandra My thoughts go to "The Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Coleridge Taylor!
162d